On a day filled with numerous ceremonies commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NFL picked the right person to narrate its own tribute to the fallen during the New York Jets/Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday night.
Oscar-winning actor, and quintessential New Yorker, Robert DeNiro was the best choice to narrate the succinct and touching tribute.
In what could have been overblown and cheesy moment, the nationally-televised event at MetLife Stadium came off as a simple salute to the military, the first responders and the lives lost ten years ago.
DeNiro's thick New York accent was the perfect voice for all the people who remember that day. If you weren't riveted by the actor's serious tone, then the U.S. Marine playing a lonely Taps or the National Anthem performed by Lady Antebellum had to make you reflect back on a day that can sometimes be overlooked.
The star of so many tough guy films lives only blocks away from Ground Zero and was one of the city's biggest boosters after the attacks.
His Tribeca Film festival was born from the death of lower Manhattan and was just one of many projects which helped the area pick up the pieces and rebuild.
DeNiro, who has portrayed so many memorable characters in New York-themed movies from "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver" and "Goodfellas," to the greatest boxing film ever produced "Raging Bull," pulled off the narration with flying red, white and blue colors.
On a day filled with what could be perceived as too many tributes, this was the one the whole nation saw and in a place that, nine years and 364 days before, fans could see the two towers stand sentry over the Hudson River then, a day later, be brought to their knees.
When DeNiro said, "On behalf of the NFL and grateful nation, we salute you," he was talkin' to me and every other American.
Now we can go back to our lives--somewhat.
As for DeNiro, all is now forgiven for "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle."